Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

The Founder

The Founder is essentially an “absolute power corrupts absolutely” story with the setting of an American fast food franchise.  And not just any American fast food franchise, THE American fast food franchise.  This films tells the tale of how businessman Ray Croc took the revolutionary ideas behind a fast service burger joint and took it national.  But in doing so, he leaves the original owners, the McDonald brothers, in his wake.

There are a lot of interesting tidbits in a movie like this, which shows the origins of something so well known to everyone.  Perhaps the best part of the movie was when the brothers describe how they turned McDonalds into the restaurant it became.  Neat stuff in there.  Ray is fascinated, however the rest of the movie deals with him undercutting them to get the franchise he envisions.  By the end he becomes a complete asshole.

I will admit that there is nothing overly special about The Founder.  Its storyline is rather predictable, and the personal life aspects of Croc’s life isn’t particularity interesting.  But Michael Keaton elevates things with a really good performance, and Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch are sympathetic as the brothers, and the fact that they are dealing with something as familiar as McDonald’s provides some weight, like when Croc describes what the real appeal of the restaurant is.

This movie, and ultimately the story it is based on, has a lot of tragedy.  The brothers really get screwed while power-hungry Croc gets what he wants.  Nice guys finish last seems to be the message, while rich assholes get what they want (just take a look at the current White House occupant for proof of this).  Its not really a feel good message, and while of course movies don’t always have to end in a good place, the way this one was set up really made you pine for some sort of silver lining.

8/10

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